Collaborative Divorce

Do spousal support obligations continue after the recipient dies?

If the Divorce Judgment or separation agreement provides for the termination of spousal support after the death of the recipient, then the spousal support may end. But where the spousal support agreement provides that payments are to a specified date, are unreviewable and enure to the benefit of one’s estate, then the payor may be […]

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How is property divided in a divorce?

There is a presumption that all property accumulated during a marriage, whether in sole or joint names, is divisible on divorce.  However, as is so often the case, there are exceptions, including for property owned before marriage or received by gift or inheritance during the relationship. When property that is otherwise exempt from division is […]

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How does independent legal advice (“ILA”) work and what does it cost?

ILA is more than a lawyer witnessing your signature; it’s necessary to meet the legal requirements for a valid agreement when couples are separating, divorcing, or starting out. Your lawyer will review your agreement and your situation with you, ask how the agreement was negotiated, and review what financial information was exchanged. Your lawyer will […]

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My divorce is simple. Can I do it by myself?

If you and your spouse have equal incomes, no children and no property to divide, with some time and patience you can do it yourself. If otherwise, there are most likely issues that are legally and financially complicated. There will be issues that you didn’t even know you have to resolve. As the saying goes […]

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My spouse and I have made a Separation Agreement. Do we need to file the written agreement with the Court for it to be binding?

No. An agreement is binding provided that it was entered into voluntarily, with a full exchange of financial information and with independent legal advice. Having said that, agreements often contain clauses dealing with matters that must be put before the Court in order to finalize a divorce, such as matters dealing with the support and […]

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Ask an Expert: What really are the differences between using the collaborative process rather than going to court?

There are a lot of reasons why so many people are choosing to resolve matters arising on separation outside of the court system. Some of the big ones include: 1. Confidentiality. Many personal and financial details can otherwise become part of the filed documents. 2. Creativity. Working together offers many more options regarding how to […]

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Ask an Expert: How can I not win and still be successful in my divorce?

Ending a marriage is one of the most difficult things someone can face. It can throw a couple into turmoil, often bringing the whole family into chaos—at least for a time. Divorcing couples can be defensive, protective, and feel pressure to “best” the other spouse in negotiations, especially if entering into our adversarial court system, […]

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Ask an Expert: I’m getting divorced. How can I prepare myself to move forward more positively?

Research shows there are three preconditions for positive change. First, something must motivate an individual to want to change. Second, a different relationship that provides psychological safety, empathy, and attunement must exist (like with a divorce coach). Third, there must be optimal anxiety—just the right amount of discomfort in the present to want to move […]

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Ask an Expert: Focus on children at Christmas.

Recently, when discussing plans for Christmas with my family, we talked about how kids may experience the holidays when their parents have recently separated or are having relationship difficulties, which can be heightened over the holidays. With so much focus on the “business” of Christmas and on the problems parents are facing themselves, the fact […]

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Ask an Expert: When divorcing, do you really want a pit bull/barracuda lawyer?

Depending on the circumstances, a strongly aggressive approach in family matters can bring results—though you will not control the nature of those results—and there is a huge cost to families. Sometimes a perceived need to win or to see justice be done can overcome the ability to appreciate the long term effects of a court […]

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Ask an Expert: I am recently separated. My spouse and I don’t want a nasty divorce. What can I do?

It’s important to think about the range of options available to you right off the bat. Most people are now aware that court does not have to be where to start. Mediation is an excellent option for those wanting facilitated communication. For those who want guidance around options for settlement and legal information as they […]

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Ask an Expert: What is a Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative Divorce is a respectful process for resolving conflict, with the help of specially trained lawyers and other professionals, without going to court. Each spouse is represented by his or her own lawyer from start to finish, with the additional support of helping and financial professionals as required. The spouses and professionals work cooperatively to […]

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Ask an Expert: How can the Collaborative Process work if my spouse and I don’t agree or trust each other?

Many people believe that the Collaborative Process works only for those who are amicable and who agree on almost all issues. In fact, this process is ideal for those cases where communication has broken down, where trust is low and where many issues remain to be resolved. Coming to agreement when people look at things […]

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